Spotify is introducing a new dashboard to help musicians find out who, and where, their biggest fans are.
The Fan Insights tool is currently in limited beta on desktop computers, with a basic mobile version also available, but the proper rollout will happen in the coming months. The dashboard starts with an overview of the artist’s main statistics, including how many Spotify listeners they’ve got and how those listeners break down by gender, age and location (the latter being useful to plan tour stops).
Then listeners are divided into subcategories, starting with ‘fans’ – people who’ve listened to an artist several times in recent months and have saved their music to their collections. Next there are ‘streakers’, who’ve listened to an artist every day in the last week, ‘loyalists’, who’ve listened to that artist more than any other, and ‘regulars’, who’ve listened to the artist the majority of days in the last month.
“In our interactions with artists and managers, getting a handle on fans and superfans in particular was a really high priority for them,” says Spotify’s VP of product Charlie Hellman in a walk-through of the new tool with Musically. “Those fans and superfans have a disproportionate impact on revenue: they’re the people who’ll buy tickets, VIP packages, merchandise and will be the social evangelists for the band.”
In recent months Spotify has been developing ways for artists and managers to actually reach those fans, for instance with targeted mailouts for selected artists – including Disclosure, Father John Misty and Ed Sheeran – to their biggest fans on its service.
Fan Insights is also supposed to get musicians thinking in terms of listeners rather than streams. “The problem with ‘streams’ is that they go up almost no matter what happens: as Spotify adds millions more users, streams go up,” says head of artist services Mark Williamson. “What’s useful with ‘listeners’ is that they are the context of real people – real sets of ears – as opposed to what can be an abstract context of millions of streams. Listeners gives you a sense of your actual fans out there.”
Fan Insights is just the latest in a string of new products from Spotify as it attempts to stand its ground against Apple Music, including its new radio offering In Residence and a tool to recommend gigs based on your listening habits, not to mention a very fun tool to prove your superfan credentials.